No offense intended to the (largely American) Orthodox readers here, but the Orthodox Church can be described as essentially an eastern European and Russian church or, more correctly, group of eastern European and Russian churches.
Outside of eastern Europe and Russia, and a few other places, the numbers of members of those churches is strikingly low. Most countries have never been blessed by the presence of an Orthodox Church, or, if they have been blessed by the presence of an Orthodox church, have seen very little or only modest success by the Orthodox in their country.
Putting aside the issues of who broke off from whom etc., we know that orthodox church(es) consider themselves the true Holy, Catholic (meaning Universal), and Apostolic Church. For any church to be considered God’s Universal and Apostolic Church, shouldn’t there be a worldwide presence for that church by now? And not only a presence but a substantial, successful, growing presence?
So let’s assume the Orthodox church(es) are the true universal Church, and look towards the future of expanson and success of the Orthodox Church(es) around the world. They will have to deal with many issues. What efforts must be made to expand successfully around the globe? Will the relative cooperation between the patriarchs hold? Or will there be more splinters on the issues of ecumenism, church calendars, and authority? Although the majority of the churches are in full communion, there are many Orthodox churches who have already split from others.
Some main issues regarding any Orthodox expansion:
*No central authority figure. *Most churches have very specific cultural backgrounds (i.e. Greek, Russian, Ukranian, etc). *Ecumenism to seperated Orthodox churches. *Ecumenism to (Roman) Catholic Church. *Ecumenism to various Protestant and non-denoms.
Could the Orthodox Church(es) handle worldwide success?**